Burmese Poetry by Khin Aung Aye and Pandora

Khin Aung Aye

Achilles’ Heel


I can knock your jaws off.

So the story goes…

In that corner,

Delousing or debugging

Almost ending up in sex.  


A poem I slept with a night too late, 

What I’ve been imbibing for four/five years, 

All have come into being just now.

The flowers that dare to sing

The restless midnight bells

The wild buffalos petrified of dreaming.  


Above floating curtains

History in the form of a silk lace.

These are just portrayals

By milestones we have passed 

And ashes in our clenched fists.  


As for me,

He who’s using talcum powder,

He who’s using fragranced soap. 


Ahead of us,

Doors opening ajar, one after another,

 And an obsequious dog who knows exactly his master’s desires.

The dark cloud sinning to the end of the samsara.

I had to swallow a bit of arak. 



After a lot of ‘thens’,

I was sold by my own street-smartness. 

All I get in return are gilded footsteps

Futures fashioned by a stray. 



As if just waking up,

The mouth that’s about to be nitpicking me,

Like picking mushrooms and bamboo shoots,

The look about to bury you alive, 

Along with them, A pair of hypocritical hands. 


Between the two of us,

There never was a misunderstood kyat.

Now you want to murder me?  


What day was it yesterday?


As our child jingles at home,

I am still drowning in the mire of lies outdoors.

Poisonous liquid,




In such perfect pitch 

Who are you to resist

Before everything is squandered 

At a snap of my fingers,

The social affairs are executed.  


All of a sudden,

In this lovelorn evening 

With suicidal tendencies,

I kiss the twilight,

I sing a song of agony. 


(Translated by Ko Ko Thett) 



The Sniper


When you see others on a flag march

Repress your swelling bugs

No mortar shells, no hand grenade explosion

This battle must go on quietly  

With a calm mind, in cold blood 

With sharp shooting, trained hands

Hone your skills when the sun shines

Camouflage like a chameleon

Be immovable as a sleeper

Don’t blink, don’t doze off 

Don’t miss any chance

If necessary, play dead

Don’t flinch, even if they walk all over you

Blame your fate if they shoot you point-blank 

To double-check your death 

Your life may end up in anticipation in lethe

There isn’t much of a choice to make

For example…

Five enemies are approaching

Five bullets are all you have. 


(Translated by Ko Ko Thett)